in hog butchering, neighbors, World War II era

March 17-31, 1943

1943 March 17th Wednesday

Sun shone but Northwest wind blew strong and was chilly but got to 20 above in p.m. I got meals, laid down in p.m., cut out 8 bloomers for myself, made out [of] soft muslin. Will has a bad cold but he helped W.D. chore and they gave cattle at Wagner Shed hay and watered horses and Van Epps hauled 3 loads hay for bull-pen and 1 here and got a load of sudan for here. He still has a cold and Will laid down in afternoon on account of cold in chest and head. This is St. Patrick’s Day but quite calm for noise.

1943 March 18th Thursday

Sun shone until late afternoon clouded and began to snow. The men caked cattle and watered horses. Their colds are still bad and my lungs and shoulders pain but I sewed at panties for self and laid down in p.m. W.D. took Margie to school and she walked home 3 p.m. so he went to school and Abbotts not knowing.

1943 March 19th Friday

Sun shone and was 4 below zero but rose to 32 above in p.m., snow is settling now. I got meals, never laid down as I sewed on panties, played solitaire. Will’s cold is bad but he chored and went to Hidden Timber in p.m. and got stuck, had to shovel out 3 times, so had to come east road via Highway, and laid down as evening work finished. W.D. cleaned the barn and cold is still bad.

1943 March 20th Saturday

Was zero at 8 o’clock but sun shone and began to rise in a hurry. W.D. came this morning and he said Margie walked home last night and this morning has the measles. Will sweated a lot last night and never coughed from mid-night until 4:30 a.m. but last night was a steady cough so I hope he is getting better now. My lungs don’t pain so bad this morning but I am sick all over. W.D. has a sore throat but is better now. We did the usual work, meals, chored, feed stock.

1943 March 21st Sunday

Sun shone but was cold. I got meals but my lungs are sick for that same old feeling is worse to-day and I have to have a fire so towards evening I thought I couldn’t breathe. Will felt better so he wanted to go some place all day so towards eve I mustered up courage, wrapped well and we went to Wm Abbotts to tell them that we butcher Tuesday and started to play cards, Mr. and Will against Mrs. and I, and played 500 until got home near midnight, saw a light at Wm Van Epps for Elmer and Mary are there. They took Neil Chauncey to Presho. He to enter Army at Rapid City. W.D. and Will chored to-day. W.D. then home.

1943 March 22nd Monday

Sun shone and got warmer but had to have winter wraps after choring. Will and I went to Winner, got Wm Abbott and we ate at Ryan Cafe, did our trading, especially jar covers and rubbers and got pork chops at meat-market for we will butcher to-morrow and it may be last meat we can get before rationing next week. Wm Van Epps staid home and fed cattle hay and hauled Sudan to bull pen and here at barn yard and chored. We got home before supper and are feeling better for colds.

1943 March 23rd Tuesday

Sun shone, was a nice day so men chored and W.D. took Margie to school and said Abbott to come over after awhile to butcher and he, Mrs. and Cora Ann came. Will, W.L. and W.D. butchered our fat cow and Wm Van Epps’ Big Fat Sow. So Margie walked home and Delores and Billie came horseback. All went home after supper and we have a lot [of] meat now. Mrs. Abbott wanted to make Cora Ann a dress out of an old [one], so a blue skirt with straps and it is nice.

1943 March 24th Wednesday

Bright, nice day. The men chored, got in beef and pork to shanty. W.D. brought Mrs. and Cora Ann to his place so she, Elsie and Billie and Cora Ann came late to cut meat and wash jars and cook meat. We finished Cora a new blouse. W.L., Billie, Delores brought Margie home, took Mrs. and Cora Ann home after supper.

1943 March 25th Thursday

A very hot day, got to nearly 90 above and sun shone but not much breeze. I got meals, laid down in p.m., also Billie Van Epps took a nap for W.L. and Elsie, Will and I canned beef. Men cut in pieces and put in jars and these days Elsie washes all jars for we have a dusty place for them in basement. We cook in cooker and oven. Men also chore and cake cattle late p.m. Mrs. Abbot came to-day.

1943 March 26th Friday

Another hot day and fair but we canned meat as usual and men chored and looked at cattle. Margie walks from school. W.L. took her in morn. and said Abbotts going to Winner.

1943 March 27th Saturday

Bright late p.m. for clouded in forenoon and looked like rain but Will got in water and he, Martha Whiting and myself washed clothes. Seth, Ed and Jim Gunhammer brought Martha and Carol Jean, Norma Fay and Helen Marie this forenoon as they went north of Mission to cut posts. Seth came in eve for Family. Martha got in clothes and folded them. I also got meals, laid down in p.m., visited with the folks. Martha washed the dishes, swept front-room and mopped kitchen. W.L. hauled a load hay to bull pen and one here and the Wills went to Whiting School-house to an A.A.A. meeting.

1943 March 28th Sunday

Was a nice warm day. Sun shone hot. I got breakfast. W.D. and Will chored. Will took me to 11:30 a.m. Mass and he went to Jay Tate’s. We then went to Furreys, at a lunch, then to Wm Fronek’s west of O’Kreek about 4 miles. Mr, Julia (Mrs.), Donna the teacher of Haukaas School their daughter, twin sons Robert and Ronald were home. Men breaking a broncho, then men for we took Harry, Louise, Harley, Dorothy and Billie along, brought them home and ate some more, came to Abbotts to ask for wide mouth jars, had only 2. Home to find chores finished and Van Epps gone to Chaunceys and Claude Van Epps, also Wm Abbotts family went there in eve. We went back to John Boyds and staid until 9:30 p.m.

1943 March 29th Monday

Bright, warm day. W.D., Elsie, Billie and Rita Marie Gehlsen came so we canned their pork to-day and Elsie cooked a lot of lard last few days. Men gave cattle cake and chored.

1943 March 30th Tuesday

Bright, warm. I got meals and Elsie and I canned meat, she fried steak and we canned it in oven. Men chored and went to Hay Stack Butte but men gone so they on to Mission and no see Spring Development. Came home in p.m. Rita & Billie played. Margie here in eve, walked from school.

1943 March 31st Wednesday

Another warm day. I got meals. Elsie, Billie and Rita Marie Gehlsen came and Will and Van Epps helped us, also men chored and fed cattle cake. Margie went to school [on] foot and walked home with Cora Ann, Delores and Billie for Wm Abbott came this forenoon in their car and he waited most of forenoon while Van Epps and Whitcher cut and put meat in jars. Elsie got jars ready, helped me with meals and cooked the meat in jars in boiler, Van Epps cookers and oven. Margie and Abbott children came at 2 p.m. and went home before supper. Men vaccinated 34 head of our yearling calves and castrated Van Epps and Abbotts pigs in p.m. Cora Ann put Billie Abbott in kettle of coffee grounds in the hall, then upstairs, they were using matches so Elsie sent them outside.